The difference between coaching and counseling is subtle but highly effective: Counseling assumes you need to be told what to do. The coaching process helps you come up with solutions and assumes you have some of the answers yourself.
For example, a person who is overweight knows they need to eat less and move more, but they probably don't look forward to exercising and they certainly don't want to feel deprived or hungry.
Instead of telling you what to do, I work alongside you as your coach, much like a navigator works alongside a pilot. I have the confidence that you know what direction you want to head, and how fast you want to go. But you benefit from using me to help guide you, keep you on course, remind you of your destination and keep the ride from getting tedious, confusing and boring!
You most likely know weight loss basics, and what's more, you are an expert on your likes, your lifestyle, and what you find motivating. Basically, I skip the lecture about what's wrong with what you're doing, and instead assist you in coming up with ways to do the right things. The things you hadn't quite put your finger on; the compelling reasons to lose weight that have been in your subconsious mind until now; the perspective to pull it all together that you suddenly realize fits you; the "aha" key that motivates you to exercise, and the mantra that keeps you easily focused on the healthy lifestyle you want to lead.
Of course I am here to provide the most accurate and up to date nutritional information, and to redirect you if I see you're off base. In general, we'll talk weekly about changes you will find easy to make, and we'll go at your pace. Since we talk about lasting new habit changes, you never go on a 'diet'. This means you never go 'off the diet': You'll learn new habits, new perspectives, and new priorities, and stick with them for the rest of your life.
Most of my clients want to lose weight; all of them want to feel better about themselves, and everyone is overwhelmed with all the choices, decisions, diet information and misinformation. It's tough to know what really is "good for you" with all the hype bombarding you from magazines, ads, talk shows and helpful co-workers! And sometimes it's tough to get motivated to make those changes.
Most of my clients are women; often they realize they have been devoting so much of their energy to their career, their education, or raising a family, they just haven't had the time or energy to focus on doing what's best for themselves! A person will seek me out when they are ready to take the time to make themself a priority.
My clients and I speak three or four times a month, depending on their preference. We have a 45 minute phone conversation, usually the same day and time each week, to talk about what's been working and what hasn't. Each week we work together to choose one or two new actions for you to try. Examples are: keeping a food diary, including a fruit serving at breakfast, making the car a "no eating zone", or going for a 30 minute walk three evenings that week. We also tackle special occasions that arise, such as vacations, business trips, and holidays--each bringing new challenges of their own.
Over time, small changes add up to calorie deficits that promote weight loss (if the goal is to lose weight); an increase in regular activity level, a reduction in cholesterol or blood pressure readings.... whatever your individual goals are. (In the beginning we'll discuss how to come up with your goals, as well as how to reach them!)
That depends on how much weight you want to lose, how aware you are of your habits, and where you would like to be compared to where you are now. Some people just need a gentle nudge in the right direction and they are good to go after just three or four months. Others are in it for some serious lifestyle changes and will continue working with me for over a year.
Another option is weaning down from three to four calls a month to one or two calls over time, as you feel more secure making decisions about behavior changes on your own. Still others have spent four or five months with me, then taken a break for a month or two--to see how they fend on their own, or maybe to just maintain their weight for a little while before attempting to lose another ten or twenty pounds--then come back to schedule weekly meeting times when they're ready to devote more effort and energy again.
I would be happy to set up a time to speak with you, at no obligation of course. For a miminal fee of $15 we'll have a 20-minute chat and I can answer any questions you have. Then I will help you come up with one action you can start working on while you decide if this style will work for you. (If you decide to work with me, the $15 will go towards your first fee.)
If you are looking for something else (for example, a dietitian in your area who will make a visit to your home) I can direct you to someone who will be the right fit for you. Just call me now at 618-622-1963, or email me at Laurie@mycoachlaurie.com
We first have a brief telephone call to be sure we both feel comfortable working together (there are some cases I will not take: overeaters with a strong emotional component who I feel are best served by other professionals; or people who expect not to have to do any of the work!) If I'm confident I can help you, and you feel like I'm a match for you, then I send you some forms and questionnaires to fill out so I can get to know you better. We'll agree on an appointment time and usually have a long first call (50-60 minutes). and after that calls range from 30 to 45 minutes, one to four times a month.
As I mentioned above, there are some groups I feel are better served by other specialists. And, in general, coaching is not for everyone. Coaching is a method used to move people ahead towards an even better life. In order to be a good candidate for coaching, you have to be in a healthy and stable place in your life right now. If you are stuck being overwhelmed by life's responsibilities, consumed by negative events, or even preoccupied with a happy occasion that's coming up, you won't be fully able to focus on trying a new perspective and seeking out new ways of doing things.
In some cases the underlying reason for less-than-desirable eating habits may be depression, compulsive eating, disordered eating, anxiety, or another medical condition. In these cases the root cause must be treated before a person can take control of their behavior and make the needed changes to lead to a life of healthy eating and activity. If you need assistance finding the right person to help with one of these issues, please email me and I'll aid you in finding a contact person or support group in your local area.
On the other hand, if you are feeling distracted with life's little problems, we can begin working together for personal life coaching, in which I've been professionally trained. These exercises and conversations will help you to straighten out, organize, and prioritize, finding you the space and time to move ahead with your nutrition and activity lifestyle goals. Many of my clients realize that these preoccupations have been keeping them from focusing on weight loss, and once their life is smoothly running they way they like it, the weight loss process becomes much easier.
Expect that it will take at least three months to start changing your habits and get into the flow of making new changes, checking in with yourself frequently relating to your current goals, and recognizing what will work for you in the long term. If you decide this just isn't the right time for you, or that you would better benefit from some other intervention, there is no financially binding contract past paying for one month at a time. Remember that I am not successful if you are not successful, so it's in my best interest to work with people I sense are really ready to do what it takes to start changing their habits. If it's not right for you, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise. But I can guarantee that you'll have some great ideas to start working on whenever the time is right for you, even if we only meet once.
If you're a self-starter, consider one of the do-it-yourself programs where I provide the information and you bring in your motivation. Click here for products and programs.
Call or email me now to set up our first call so we can get to know each other.
Still have questions? Please contact me anytime! I look forward to hearing from you.